I am loving the whole indoor bulb growing thing right now. The hyacinths I had growing indoors before Christmas were such little pleasure-providers, so cheery and undemanding and giving. Day after day they grew and grew until the flowers opened and they bloomed their little bulby socks off. I started out with a bowl of white ones and when they were finished I replaced them with some blue ones, and both were truly wonderful to have in the house.
Last week, during that lull of time between Christmas and New Year, when I was in the grips of feeling like pants, I suddenly really felt the need to re-connect with normal life. So after being pyjamaed and sofa ridden for quite a few days I suddenly decided I had to get dressed and make a rather slow and wobbly walk down along the canal to the shops. I was on my own, and it was madness really, because the whole trip (which lasted less than an hour) left me feeling like I'd been run over by a bus.
But anyhow, the best thing about that trip was that I came home with three bulbs. Yes, it has to be said, I do know how to really let rip when I go to the shops. I had gone in to my local co-op to buy myself some lemons and I nearly tripped over this big stack of bulbs-in-boxes displayed near the door. They were obviously left over from the pre Christmas gift buying frenzy and each box contained a bulb (obviously), a suitably sized pot and a bag of compost. For the meager sum of £1.96. Yes! I know! Less than two pounds for a box of potential living gorgeousness!! So into my shopping basket went four lemons and three varieties of Amaryllis bulbs.
There is something so remarkable about planting these dry, brown, wizened things into a pot of dry, brown earth and knowing that with the right care and attention (basically warmth, light and a little tepid water) the miracle of growth will happen. Most years I grow these beautiful flowers and they never fail to amaze me. I almost feel myself willing them to grow, I become so desperate for that first sighting of a green shoot poking out of the dry brown.
Bulbs represent such Hope and Promise don't you think? I'm really looking forward to sharing these with you as they grow and bloom, it seems such a Good Thing to look forward to during these rather cold dreary winter months.